More than six months after a roof collapse destroyed much of the Grand Theatre in Williamstown, five area theater groups are lending a helping hand to one of their own.
In support of rebuilding the 86-year-old theater, the troupes will participate in "The Grand Cabaret," a musical variety show next weekend at the Eagle Theatre in Hammonton.
All proceeds of performances Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will benefit the "Make It Grand Again" fund, created by the Road Company Inc., the owner of the building, to reconstruct its theater home.
"The coming together absolutely amazes me," said Paula Farrar, a coproducer for the cabaret and a Road Company board member. "Usually it's more like 'Who's doing what next year?' and 'We are going to do it better,' but this is different. Groups who would usually be considered our adversaries are now working for the same cause: to bring back a legend to the area."
The historic center for performing arts, remembered for its sconces and raised-metal ceilings, fell quiet May 14 when the back roof over the stage caved in, a result of the winter's heavy snowfalls, authorities said at the time.
Evaluators estimate that $250,000 beyond insurance coverage will be required to rebuild the theater, once home to silent movies and vaudeville shows.
Eagle Theatre manager Scott Van Pelt said he was happy to lend space to the Road Company.
"There is a community of community theater," Van Pelt said. "There are all of these wonderful theaters in South Jersey, and our mission is one and the same . . . so we help each other out where we can."
Eagle Theatre treasurer Patty Palmieri, one of the event's organizers, echoed the sentiment.
"When this happened, we sat around and said, 'What if this was us?' " she said. "We are a small community, and if we stick together, we can make the arts something people look to."
The cabaret will feature more than 25 volunteer performers from the Road Company, Haddonfield Plays & Players, the Sketch Club Players of Woodbury, and the 2nd & Vine Players of Hammonton, in addition to children from the Road Company's summer camp.
Acts will include show tunes from Cats, Cabaret, Funny Girl, and Man of La Mancha.
"It's been overwhelming," said Lauri Hudson, the Road Company's president. "All of us are intertwined, with sharing costumes and props back and forth if someone needs something, and it makes me feel fantastic that they dropped everything, especially during the holiday season, and loaned their talent for this."
All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Thursday and $25 for Friday or Saturday. For more ticket information, call 609-704-5012 or visit www.theeagletheatre.com.